UK-based teams to provide ventilators amid COVID-19

by Erick Hernandez

Formula 1 teams based in the United Kingdom and the government are working together to supply ventilators amid the ongoing pandemic.

Mercedes, Red Bull, McLaren and Williams had discussions with Formula 1 this week about various ways in which they could help supply the National Health Service with ventilators.

Governments have asked the F1 teams to help putting their rapid prototyping and technical expertise to use in support for the coronavirus pandemic. Every effort counts when it comes to help each other and stop the exponential growth of the virus.

Formula 1 is characterised by its commitment to technological development and innovation, and that is precisely what is needed at this time, to find new ways of containing the global threat that this virus is causing.

“A collective of UK-based Formula 1 teams, engine manufacturers and their respective technology arms is evaluating support for the manufacture of respiratory devices in response to the UK Government’s call for assistance.” read the statement from Formula 1.

“All the teams have expert design, technology and production capabilities, and specialise in rapid prototyping and high-value manufacturing, which is hoped can be applied to the critical needs set out by Government.”

What is exactly needed and why?

The requirement for ventilators worldwide has risen due to the coronavirus, which continues to spread, leading to serious health conditions such as pneumonia.

One of the complications of the COVID-19, is the generation of a respiratory insufficiency, lung damage and eventually, hypoxia. The use of these devices allows the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide is carried in an appropriate way and therefore, helps the condition improvement of the patient.

Currently, these mechanical ventilators are being used in patients who are in a critical state, patients who have been sedated and those who have recovered. For this reason, this respiratory support is still required, resulting in an increase in the demand for these mechanical ventilators.

Ferrari owners step in to help in Italy

On the other hand, Italy has been one of the countries most affected by this virus, so the Italian Government has also requested support to increase the production of ventilators.

In response, the Agnelli family, which owns Fiat Chrysler, Ferrari’s F1 and road operations, has already donated €10m (£9.3m) for the Italian government to deal with the coronavirus emergency.

The family has also purchased 150 ventilators and rolled out a fleet of vehicles to distribute food and medicine to a number of cities in the north of the country.

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